Monday, May 20, 2024

ZIGZAG: FIRST AUTOM IN 2019

A divided Europe, in left and right, seems to be unconscious; it accepts its inability to give way to the accumulated problems, so it says – Welcome America! White House Special envoy for the Balkans, Matthew Palmer, faces a challenge: Will he practice the course of ‘bulldozer’ Richard Holbrooke, the architect of the Dayton Agreement, or he will just enjoy the epithet of being ‘Serbian groom’…

Author: Seladin Xhezairi

The good day is seen right in the morning, so what, if everybody says that this autumn is going to be hot, just like winter – cold! The newly appointed special envoy of the US State Department, Matthew Palmer, said in Bled in Slovenia on Monday that he is optimistic about the continuation of the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue: ‘Kosovo has an election on October 6th. I hope the new Kosovo government will suspend tariffs. I hope Serbia will diminish efforts for Kosovo’s international delegitimacy, ” Palmer said, underlining that ‘mutual recognition would be ideal’.
Earlier, nine years ago, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Dayton Agreement, its architect Richard Holbrooke, while speaking for the Voice of America, with detailed knowledge of Bosnia and Kosovo, had admitted: ‘The international community cannot administer Kosovo for an indefinite time. I do not want to repeat my attitude towards Kosovo’s issue, but I mean it is a more difficult problem than Bosnia’s issue. The outcome of the talks must be acceptable for both, Belgrade and Pristina, ‘evaluated Holbrooke.

 

Today, US diplomat Matthew Palmer, also a good connoisseur of the Balkan mentality, has two additional motives to confirm his administration’s interest in the sustainability of the region: The first is exactly ‘bulldozer’ Richard Holbrooke, for his role in reaching the Dayton Agreement and accelerating international military intervention in Kosovo in 1999. The other motive is all that which is related to the epithet of being a ‘groom’ in his case – a Serbian groom! In other words, Palmer will tell us whether he will enter with this burden to persuade the parties to try to reach that long-awaited compromise agreement.

 

One of the sharpest problems of the Western Balkans is the lack of the rule of law and consequently the mismanagement of public money. The European Union tries to zap policymakers and prevent tax fraud and tax evasion. This Tuesday the portal lapsi.al writes that Northern Macedonia, Albania and some other countries in the region have been in the gray list for the risk they carry for tax fraud and evasion, in order to improve tax management globally. In 2017, the EU Government decided to publish a list of countries that were not cooperative in this initiative. The list is updated from time to time, while in June of this year 11 states were put in the black list and 36 more in the gray one.
The black list contains countries that are not cooperative and do not apply fair taxation rules, while in the gray list are included countries that have problems with fair taxation, have agreed to cooperate but do not have results. If Northern Macedonia and Albania, for example, ignore the recommendations, they risk being put in the black list the following year. This means, among other things, that they will face a ban on funding granted by EU agencies.

 

On Sunday, the Western world commemorated the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II that began with the Nazi bombing of the city of Wielun and the occupation of Poland. Present at the commemoration ceremonies in Warsaw, German President Frank-Walter apologized for the crimes committed: ‘We bow before the victims of the Wielun attack. We bow before the Polish victims of German tyranny and pray for forgiveness, ” President Steinmeier said. He was among many statesmen, including US Vice President Mike Pence, who joined Polish President Andrzej Duda’s call that ‘what happened in Wielun and then across many parts of Poland and elsewhere should not be repeated, never again’. In the polarized world, however, there remained controversy over why Russia, Serbia or even Northern Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina were not represented and Albania with Montenegro – yes! The explanation was: Official Warsaw had decided to invite only NATO, EU and Eastern Partnership member states. News agencies recalled that Poland lost six million inhabitants in World War II, half of whom were Jewish.

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